Hey Chris, I’m a regular reader of the blog and find your work fascinating and important. This recent tour of the Ville is staggering for so many reasons, but one thing I’ve wondered in particular is how you approach documenting these neighborhoods. What have your interactions or encounters with local residents been like? Or in other words, have you experienced anything, positive or negative, as a white guy walking with a camera through these impoverished, neglected, segregated areas?
Good question; my comrades and I are very aware of how it looks with a bunch of outsiders walking around an impoverished neighborhood. We frequently talk to people, but have never had a negative experience. Most people are indifferent, or friendly.
In the instance of the Ville, we honestly did not see many people–it really is pretty desolate.
I am very conscious, and aware of not looking like a gawker, or some sort of tourist. If people ask what I’m doing, I’m honest. There is a long and ugly tradition in America of the wealthy and privileged visiting lower income neighborhoods with the wrong attitude–condescension, judgment, etc. I seek to not do that, but tell the story honestly.
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